The Cultural Gutter

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"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

Interview with Park Joon-Hung

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Eastern Kicks has an interview–and a gallery of photos of–director Park Joon-hung.

Revenge In South Korean Cinema

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Some interesting thoughts on South Korean cinema with “A Dish Best Served Bloody: Revenge In South Korean Cinema” and this Cannes program piece on Arirang (1926) and the history of Korean film.

Best Korean Movies of 2013

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At Modern Korean Cinema, Pierce Conran shares his list of top ten Korean movies in 2013.

Cutting Snowpiercer

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Director Bong Joon-ho confirms that the Weinstein Company will be cutting his film Snowpiercer for release in the “English-speaking territories.” Updates from Yahoo News and Variety via @NewKoreanCinema

The Weinstein Company vs. Asian Cinema

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At Daily Grindhouse, Ric Meyers writes about, “A History of Disrespect: The Weinstein Company’s War on Asian Cinema.” Meanwhile, at Flavorwire, Jason Bailey asks and answers. “Why Do Asian Films Have To Be Dumbed Down For An American Audience?”

Strong Female Character

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A little while ago, a friend told me that I was a “strong woman.” It was a compliment and I took it as one. Part of me knows what he means, that I keep trying, that I pick myself up as best I can after things go to hell, that I try to keep moving. […]

Interview with Simon Yam Tat-Wah

PaikJiyeon’s People Inside features Simon Yam in all his sartorial splendor. “Simple, that is the best.” (First of multipart interview)

“Protest Style”

HAPS puts PSY’s protest style in context.

Clip from The Host 2 / Gwoemul 2

Here’s a clip from Bong Joon-ho’s The Host 2/ Gwoemul 2 (sequel to the 2007 film, The Host / Gwoemul). More river monster + a little behind the scenes look.

Interview with Lee Byung-hun

Paul Quinn interviews actor Lee Byung-hun  (The Good, The Bad, The Weird; I Saw The Devil) for Hangul Cellulloid. “Every actor, especially the beginners, if they’re asked ‘Do you eventually want to be a star or a real actor?’ will answer that they want to be a real actor and not a star, 100%. However, […]

Cloud Atlas, Racebending and Racism

Racebending and Hyperallergic discuss the racism and lack of critical response to racism in Cloud Atlas‘ use of “colorblind casting.”  Mike Le responds to the trailer: Ultimately…my belief is that Cloud Atlas will eventually be viewed through the same lens as films like The Good Earth, Birth of a Nation, or even Dumbo. These are films […]

“Uncle Pervy’s K-Pop Playlist”

John Seabrook, aka, “Uncle Pervy,” created an overview of K-Pop video for all your booty-shaking, synchronized dance needs. Make sure to click through to his article on Korean pop music for The New Yorker. (via @sammy2lighters)  

What is Gangnam Style?

“PSY does something in his video that few other artists, Korean or otherwise, do: He parodies the wealthiest, most powerful neighborhood in South Korea. Sure, he uses physical humor to make it seemingly about him, a man who wants to project glamour but keeps falling short…But ultimately, by declaring ‘Oppa is Gangnam Style,’ he turns […]

Discovering Korean Cinema

At Modern Korean Cinema, Pierce Conran writes of discovering Korean film and, in particular, Jang Joon-hwan’s genre-blending, Save The Green Planet.

Interview with Ryoo Seung-Wan

Hangul Cellulloid interviews director, writer and actor, Ryoo Seung-Wan about his earlier films, including Die Bad; his current film, The Unjust; his upcoming, The Berlin File; and whether Korean films are inherently violent.

Congratulations Bruce Leung Siu-Leung!

Fantasia Film Festival honored Bruce Leung Siu-Leung with their Legendary Kung Fu Star Award. He started his career as one of many Bruce Lee imitators before moving on working as an actor and action choreographer in films and television throughout the 1970s and 1980s.  In the 2004, Leung returned as the Beast in Kung Fu […]

100 Years of Manhwa

An excellent gallery of images and collections, as well as historical context on 100 years of Korean comics.

Most Anticipated Asian Films of 2011

Wildgrounds breaks down their most anticipated films of 2011.

Let The Bullets Fly

The bullets fly in Weng Jiang’s new Asian Western set in 1920s China:  Let the Bullets Fly.  It stars Chow Yun-Fat, Carina Lau and Weng Jiang himself. And though that sure sounds like Chow Yun-Fat, word is Mr. Chow has been dubbed. It would make a nice double feature with The Good, The Bad, The […]

Summer Fun Time Reading!

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It’s summertime and all the happenin’ sites have advice about bikinis, manscaping, quick cool meals and reading lists. I have no idea what to tell you about beachwear, other than you do look cute in that, but I do have some reading suggestions.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley looks at “The 1979 Rockford Files Episode That Inspired The Sopranos.” “A gang from Newark’s South Side is hiding Vinnie Martine’s body in a restaurant freezer. Tony’s mad because Anthony Jr. got caught pranking another mobster. And a boss who’s trying to reform gets his mansion sprayed with bullets. Remember that episode of The Sopranos? If you do, your memory’s playing tricks on you, because all these things happened on a 1979 episode of The Rockford Files—written by Sopranos creator David Chase.”

    And McKinley defends classic television with, “In Praise of Vintage Television.”

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    Journalist Margot Adler has died. She is best known for her work as a journalist on NPR, but she also created the speculative fiction radio program, “The Hour Of The Wolf” and was the writer of Drawing Down The Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (1979) and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side (2014). The New York Times, NPR and  Suvudu have obituaries.  Here Adler discusses Vampires Are Us. And here is an excerpt from Adler’s memoir, Heretic’s Heart (1997).

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    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for 2014. There’s lots of goodness in there and it’s worth taking a look even if you aren’t going to the festival, so you can you movie watching later this year or next. We’ll be posting the trailers from the films later.

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    Actor James Shigeta has died. Shigeta appeared in Die Hard (1988), The Crimson Kimono (1959) The Flower Drum Song (1961),  Bridge To The Sun (1961), Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), The Yakuza (1974) and many, many television shows.  The AV Club, Den Of Geek and Angry Asian Man have obituaries. Bridge to the Sun is discussed by Robert Osborne and Dr. Peter Feng on TCM.  At RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz writes an appreciation of Shigeta’s life and work. “Shigeta, who died yesterday at 81, was a marvelous performer, and his work as Nakatomi Corporation President Joseph Takagi in the original 1988 Die Hard is one of my favorite examples of how an imaginative actor can sketch out a life in just a few scenes and lines.”

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    At RogerEbert.com, Alan Zilberman explores the history of the eye in cinema from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) to Mark Cahill’s I Origins (2014). (via Matt Zoller Seitz)

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    At Never Get Off The Bus, Debbie Moon writes about Captain America: First Avenger. “When adapting existing material, it’s easy to assume that in order to reach point F, you simply have to work through points A – E. To set up Steve Rogers in the modern world, simply romp briskly through everything that happened before he got there. But your character may not be undergoing a single united emotional journey during that period. “

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